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COVID-19 update: More money for Vermont businesses; Massachusetts moves forward reopening

Published: 7/5/2020 8:56:13 PM
Modified: 7/5/2020 8:56:11 PM
VermontState set to release more money

Vermont businesses hurt by the pandemic may apply Monday to the state for grants of up to $50,000.

The funds are from the federal CARES Act and were appropriated by the Legislature in separate bills. They will be distributed by the state.

The grants are on a first-come, first-served basis for businesses with more than one employee that also lost 75% of their business compared to this time last year, WCAX-TV reported.

NEW HAMPSHIREGroup calls for more attention for communities of color

Minority business owners and community leaders in New Hampshire say they are being left behind in efforts to repair the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus.

A group of Black, brown and immigrant business owners and leaders wrote to Gov. Chris Sununu, describing major gaps in how information is being disseminated about grant programs that could help them. For example, they said the U.S. Small Business Administration put on webinars for minority-owned businesses months after loan programs were introduced. And many small business owners can’t afford memberships to chambers of commerce or other groups that could serve as resource, they said.

“We cannot allow this unjust situation to become business as usual,” they wrote.

The group proposed spending $2 million on minority-owned business, $1 million to expand English language education, $1 million for support services such as translation and transportation, and $1 million for minority student scholarships.

MassachusettsBay State prepares for next phase of reopening

Most of Massachusetts is moving forward with the next phase of its economic reopening, which covers many indoor venues like gyms, museums movie theaters and casinos, effective on Monday.

The governor’s order covers all of the state except Boston, where the changes will take effect on July 13.

Gov. Charlie Baker said data shows that the state is controlling the coronavirus, but recent surges in other parts of the country serve as a cautionary tale. “We’d hate to have to move backwards,” he said previously.

Strict rules are in place for the third phase of a four-phase economic reopening in Massachusetts.

Gyms and fitness centers, for example, are limited to 40% of capacity and must install barriers between exercise equipment, or commit to 14 feet of spacing between them.

The New England Museum Association said its members are taking a cautious approach to reopening, Many of them will remain closed Monday as they opt for later reopening dates.

— The Associated Press




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